When a Muslim cleric will see Lord Ram in a Mosque….
New Delhi, June 20: Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury urged newly elected House Speaker Om Birla to be impartial and give enough opportunities to the opposition to raise matters of public concerns.
Chowdhury, who was appointed to the post on Tuesday, decried raising of religious slogans in the House during oath-taking of members on Tuesday, saying there was a need to strengthen the social fabric of the society.
Reciting a stanza, Chowdhury said, "When a Muslim cleric will see Lord Ram in a mosque and when a Hindu priest will see Allah in a temple, then the world will change. (Jab Mullah ko Masjid main Ram Nazar aaye, Jab Pujari ko Mandir main Rahman Nazar aaye, Duniya ki surat badal jayegi, jab insan ko insan main insan nazar aaye)."
"Intention of our party is very clear. We believe in debate, dissent and decisions. But we should get an opportunity. Your responsibility in Parliament is to protect this right," he said in his congratulatory remarks to Birla.
Quoting India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, he said the House represents the freedom of the nation and hence the dignity of the Chair has to be "well maintained by you."
Chowdhury also suggested that more and more bills should be referred to department-related standing committees of Parliament and rued that in the previous Lok Sabha, very few bills were scrutinised by panels.
"PM has said there will be no 'paksh' (treasury benches), 'vipaksh' (opposition) but only 'nispaksh' (impartial). India is a multi-party democracy which will have all the views. But you (speaker) have to be impartial," he said.
Birla assured the members that he will run the House in an impartial manner and everyone will be heard.
"I have been a member like you from 2014 to 2019. And here we should raise issues which matter to the last person standing in the row," he said.
Chowdhury hoped that the speaker would take up the plight of the farmers and claimed that 36 farmers were committing suicide in the country every day.